Like most other Indonesian students, Salsa Fadilah and her classmates attend school assembly every morning. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

High School Student's Life in the Thousand Islands

BY : EMILY GILBERT

AUGUST 08, 2019

The Thousand Islands is a chain of 342 islands off the northern coast of Java, about an hour by boat from Jakarta. Although there are hundreds of islands, only a few are inhabited. Eleven are home to resorts and two have been turned into museums preserving the history of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company, or VOC. The rest are privately owned or support small fishing villages.

Pramuka Island is the district capital and home to a city hall and hospital. The island, which is about 45 minutes from Jakarta by high-powered speedboat, also serves as a transportation hub for tourists. It also has the district's only high school, with dormitories for students who live too far away to commute every day. There are nearly 500 students in Public High School 69, with about 50 of them living in the dormitories.

One of them is Salsa Fadilah, whose life is in many ways like those of students on the mainland: she posts on Instagram, goes to morning ceremony every Monday and works on group assignments during class. She dreams of becoming a doctor after graduating from high school and she is proud to be on the school's flag-bearer team.

However, because her parents' house is five hours away by small ferry, Salsa lives in a dormitory with other girls from the islands. She enjoys her independence, but often misses her family, as she can only go home during school holidays.

Unlike most students in Jakarta, Salsa can go snorkeling in the Java Sea after class. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Unlike most students in Jakarta, Salsa can go snorkeling in the Java Sea after class. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa shares her love story with a friend on Air Island on July 26. She often visits a nearby island with her friend during her free time on weekends. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa shares her love story with a friend on Air Island on July 26. She often visits a nearby island with her friend during her free time on weekends. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Instead of a school bus, Salsa takes a boat to school. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Instead of a school bus, Salsa takes a boat to school. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Although she values her independence, she often misses her family, as she can only go home during school holidays. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Although she values her independence, she often misses her family, as she can only go home during school holidays. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa discusses current social issues chats with her friends. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa discusses current social issues chats with her friends. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa goes to school with her friend on Pramuka Island on July 29. She shares a dormitory with several other girls. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa goes to school with her friend on Pramuka Island on July 29. She shares a dormitory with several other girls. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The nearly 500 students of Public High School 69 line up for the Monday morning ceremony. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The nearly 500 students of Public High School 69 line up for the Monday morning ceremony. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa is proud to be on the school's flag-bearing team. (JG Photo/Emily Gilbert)
Salsa is proud to be on the school's flag-bearing team. (JG Photo/Emily Gilbert)
The team practices under the watchful eye of upperclassmen. Salsa is one of only two girls on the team. (JG Photo/Emily Gilbert)
The team practices under the watchful eye of upperclassmen. Salsa is one of only two girls on the team. (JG Photo/Emily Gilbert)
Salsa takes notes in the economic development class. Her favorite subject is biology. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa takes notes in the economic development class. Her favorite subject is biology. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa takes part in an intense discussion in class. She wants to become a doctor after graduating from high school next year. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Salsa takes part in an intense discussion in class. She wants to become a doctor after graduating from high school next year. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

 

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